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OKLAHOMA & KANSAS PASS ANTI-LGBTQ CHILD WELFARE BILLS, HRC CALLS ON GOVERNORS TO VETO: The discriminatory measures -- opposed by faith leaders and child welfare advocates -- could have a sweeping, harmful impacts in child welfare services by enabling discrimination against LGBTQ people, same-sex couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other qualified parents to whom an agency has an objection. “These votes to enshrine discrimination into law are shameful,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs. “Oklahoma and Kansas legislators are throwing kids under the bus to create a ‘license to discriminate’ against qualified, loving prospective parents. These bills do nothing to improve the outcomes for children in care. They shrink the pool of prospective parents and are a blatant attempt to discriminate against LGBTQ Oklahomans and Kansans. HRC urges Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer to veto these discriminatory bills.” More on Oklahoma from HRC and The Associated Press. More on Kansas from HRC and KCUR.

MIKE PENCE, YOU ARE THE COMPANY YOU KEEP: Vice President Mike Pence’s inner circle is chock-full of individuals who harbor deep animus toward LGBTQ people and are determined to advance their discriminatory agenda in the Trump-Pence White House. With the world distracted by Donald Trump’s endless scandals, Pence and his loyalists are operating behind the scenes and advancing his virulently anti-equality agenda out of public view. HRC profiled the worst-of-the-worst of Pence’s loyalists on Twitter. For more on Pence’s nefarious anti-LGBTQ agenda, check out www.realmikepence.org.

  • And check out this new video from HRC on Joe Arpaio, a convicted criminal who built his career attacking nearly every marginalized community. At a campaign event this week, Pence called him a “friend” and “favorite.” Watch here.
  • Today, Trump and Pence are scheduled to speak to NRA members in Dallas at 12:45 and 12:15 CST. In 2016, the group spent more than $30 million either directly supporting the Trump-Pence ticket or in donations to outside groups opposing Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Despite pushing the view that the more “good guys with guns” present, the better, the NRA has banned firearms from the event during the scheduled speeches by Trump and Pence.

COALITION TO UPHOLD MASSACHUSETTS’ PROTECTIONS FOR TRANS PEOPLE: Freedom for All Massachusetts (FFAM), the bipartisan coalition seeking to uphold the state’s gender identity nondiscrimination law at the ballot box in November, yesterday launched its campaign today in Boston, unveiling broad support for the law. HRC is proud to serve alongside coalition partners as a member of the campaign’s executive committee. More from The Boston Globe.

  • The coalition launched a new video featuring transgender Bay Staters who are fighting to uphold these protections. Watch here.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ACROSS DEMOGRAPHICS SUPPORT LGBTQ EQUALITY: A major new national survey found a strong majority of Americans in every state oppose licenses to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey also found “broad, growing” support for marriage equality, including among most religious groups across the U.S., and overwhelming support for LGBTQ equality among Americans age 18-29 -- no matter their religious or party affiliation, race, ethnicity or gender. The remarkable findings released this week showcase how far our nation has come in recognizing the importance of achieving fundamental fairness, and the growing commitment coast-to-coast to full equality for all Americans. More from HRC and NBC.

  • However, there is still work to do - in six states, the majority does not yet support marriage equality. They are: Alabama (41 percent), Mississippi (42 percent), North Carolina (49 percent), Tennessee (46 percent), West Virginia (48 percent) and Louisiana (48 percent). More from Qnotes.

WASHINGTON BLADE’S CHRIS JOHNSON (@CHRISJOHNSON82) HAS THE LATEST ON THE BATTLE FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY IN THE STATES: While states across the nation are banning the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” two targeting the LGBTQ community with bills that would allow taxpayer-funded child welfare agencies to discriminate against qualified prospective parents. More from The Washington Blade.

  • On the municipal level, cities are protecting youth from “conversion therapy” as well. Read this letter urging Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to do the same from The Express-Times.

ILLINOIS BILL CREATING LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE SCHOOL CURRICULUM PASSES STATE SENATE: Said Ellen Kahn, Director of HRC’s Children, Youth & Families Program: “The presence of an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, such as lessons about the history of the LGBTQ movement or learning about LGBTQ people who made history, sends an incredibly important message of acceptance and affirmation to LGBTQ students, and it provides an opportunity for their non-LGBTQ classmates to better understand and appreciate the contributions made by LGBTQ people in all areas of life -- sports, entertainment, politics, and beyond.” More from The State Journal-Register.

ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST SCOTT LIVELY QUALIFIES FOR MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR’S RACE: Anti-LGBTQ exporter of hate Scott Lively heads the group Abiding Truth Ministries and has been accused of crimes against humanity for his “participation in the effort aimed at revoking fundamental rights from LGBTI persons in Uganda.” More from NewNowNext.

2018 NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR HANDS TRUMP A LETTER FROM IMMIGRANT YOUTH: Mandy Manning of Spokane, Wash., also wore pins showing her commitment to all youth, including a “trans equality now” pin. More from The Washington Post.

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LEADER PELOSI -- TRUMP “DOESN’T REALLY BELIEVE IN THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN IMPROVING PEOPLE’S LIVES”: In an interview with with Los Angeles Blade’s Karen Ocamb (@KarenOcamb), Leader Pelosi (D-CA) discusses her hopes for taking back the U.S. House in November, and promoting a pro-equality slate of bills, including the Equality Act. More rom Los Angeles Blade.

CALL IT OUT -- CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE FROM SC CALLS TRANS PEOPLE “MENTALLY ILL”: Lee Bright, a former state senator, also sponsored a bill to restrict transgender people’s access to public spaces. HRC has called on the GOP to condemn his heinous and bigoted remarks. More from The State.

IN LAWSUIT, TRANS WOMAN INMATE ALLEGES SHE WAS THREATENED, HARASSED AND SEXUAL ASSAULTED IN COLORADO MEN’S PRISON: More from Time.

POWER OF COMMUNITY -- TWO STRANGERS HELP TRANS WOMAN HARASSED ON LYFT RIDE: HRC’s Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) was harassed and misgendered while in a taxi to work, but two strangers sharing the ride came to her aid to ensure her safety. More from Gay Star News.

EQUALITY VIRGINIA LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN IN VIRGINIA BEACH: More from Southside Daily.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

FOR THE FIRST TIME, ITALY RECOGNIZES BOTH MOTHERS ON BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF CHILD CONCEIVED THROUGH FERTILITY TREATMENT: More from Pink News.

HISTORIC RULING IN ISRAEL AS WOMAN GRANTED JOINT CUSTODY OF CHILD AFTER DIVORCING WIFE: More from Haaretz.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Outsports slides into home with a story that 21 Major League Baseball teams will hold LGBTQ Pride nights this season; KQED mourns Soni Wolf, founder of ‘Dykes on Bikes’; North by Northwestern reviews the upcoming book ‘The Marriage Battle’; Washington Blade reports that Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) will headline the DNC’s LGBTQ gala; CBS covers Laverne Cox’s (@Lavernecox) keynote at the Planned Parenthood of NYC gala


Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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